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Goat Heads and Sand Burrs, P. Kirby's Reading Blog

The good, bad, and fugly books I've read.
Jack of Fables, Vol. 8: The Fulminate Blade - Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, Jim Fern, Andrew Pepoy, Joe Rubinstein My poor husband.

About a week before my birthday, I used my Christmas gift certificate money to buy a few graphic novels, including Fables 15: Rose Red. When my books arrived a few days later, I showed Fables 15 to my husband, noting that I hoped it would be an improvement over Volume 13, which featured Jack Horner, the character that I love to hate. I mean, in small doses, Jack is okay. Hell, sometimes he's even funny. But Jack is a like a small pebble in your running shoe. Easily ignored for the first few blocks, excruciating after.

Anyway, I didn't notice the weird look on my poor spouse's face when he asked why I didn't like Jack. Nope, I just ranted on and on about how annoying Jack was, how he ruined Volume 13, blah, blah, blah.

So a few days later, on my birthday, my husband hands me a gift and says, "You won't like this."

My wonderful guy had gone to the comic store and seeing "Fables" on the cover, and unaware of my issues with Jack Horner, got me this book. Le sigh. Color me shamed.

The good news is that it's a fun read. Largely because it's entirely 100-percent Jack Horner free. This time around, it's Jack's son, Jack Frost, who takes center stage. (Jack Horner is apparently a dragon.)

Jack Frost is a wanna-be hero adventurer. He's got the basic attributes--good looks, a cool weapon, a sidekick--but lacks experience. Not that that's going to stop him. Armed with a ruby ray, accompanied by MacDuff, a wooden owl, and riding a giant millipede, he's ready to rescue virgins from the cruel clutches of giants.

Except, he's being played and nothing is what it seems to be.

It's a fun story in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, both in the storytelling and art. Being the next-to-last in a series, and representing a kind of reboot, the story does suffer, particularly the characterization, which feels a bit [Elrond voice on] "thin" [Elrond voice off].

The art is serviceable but suffers by comparison to the Fables series. Those who prefer fantasy, may not like the vintage SF approach taken by this installment.

Quick easy read, but lacking much depth. (Edited because I wrote Vol 14, when I meant 13)